I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. Romans 1:16
Each of us has experienced the power of prayer in our lives. In times of illness, the loss of a loved one, insecurity over finances and vocation, the struggles of those we care for—knowing that others are holding you in prayer provides a great sense of comfort and strength. I am renewed daily and grateful for your prayers for me, our church, and our world.
Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is calling us to a Season of Prayer for the 50 Days of Easter. “In this season of Resurrection,” he writes, “I call on everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters in areas where there is much burden and little hope.” Citing Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ – Presiding Bishop Curry calls us to include in our circle of concern those regions of the Anglican Communion that are experiencing violence and strife.
Each week of the Easter season, the Episcopal Church website will post information and suggested prayers for Burundi, Central America, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Middle East, Pakistan and South Sudan. It is humbling and inspiring to consider how our prayers can be a powerful source of God’s love in the world. I plan on praying along with our Presiding Bishop and invite you to join me.
This morning, I followed the links provided on The Episcopal Church website (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/season-prayer/burundi) to learn more about Burundi and to hold their needs and hopes up to God. Burundi, as you will read, is a a small landlocked nation in East Africa struggling to recover from a 12-year civil war. The Anglican Church is well represented among the different tribes of Burundi and therefore plays a unique bridge building, peacemaking role. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently visited there and offers a prayer to guide our reflection. (http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5688/archbishops-call-for-prayer-for-burundi)
Each week of the Easter season, I commit to learning more about where resurrection hope is needed most, doing my part to pass the power of prayer along and keep resurrection hope alive. May God hold you in love in this holy season as we open our hearts, minds, and lives to the risen Christ and pray for God’s healing love for all in this world so in need of life.
A prayer for Burundi:
For the beautiful but poor country of Burundi, we pray dear Lord.
For the population living in fear and dread, afraid of the unknown and the uncertain, we ask for hope.
For those fleeing in Burundi or abroad, we pray for safety, freedom from disease and famine, and the security that they may return home.
For those seeking the way of violence that they would instead seek reconciliation between all parties.
For the surrounding countries, that they may remain at peace, act justly, and help to bring about a just settlement.
Enable an end to violence so that Burundi might become a beacon of peace rather than a place of fear and death.
Strengthen your church to stand for the ways of justice and righteousness and to reach out in love to the suffering.
We ask this in the name of the One who carried all our human failings on the cross, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen